People should'nt be afraid of their Government, Governments should be afraid of their people... Alan Moore
We made it, I made it and you made it… kind of… so give yourself a pat on the back...
because now its 2021 and the shit show begins again, in earnest! and as I say in the title, 'what did we actually learn...?'
OK... so first I have to admit that when I started writing this and ended up with a 10000 word, world weary rant about the state of world politics, internet censorship, increasing governmental erosion of our basic human rights, left versus right, right versus wrong etc etc et. But lets be honest...you don't come here to read that shit, or at least I hope you don't! I hope you come here for irreverent content about music, guitars and the more ridiculously comedic side of my mental health, positivity (I hope) and content that will make you smile.
But.... and its a big but... I have to mention something about the world today, it is simply too important to me not too.
I think we are all completely burnt out and don't even realise it.
I think after the events that took place in America this week and the current state of the UK with the final implementation of Brexit, the draconian state of the lockdown, the taking away of our basic freedoms by government, covid being the nasty indiscriminate little fucker that it is, roaming round unchecked, infecting unsuspecting people like a groupie with the clap, the governments completely inability to deal with this pandemic and the complete shitshow that Britain and the rest of the world has become... I genuinely believe we are all completely burnt out and don't even realise it. I certainly know I am. So where am I going this..?
Well, firstly Im not going to go on a political rant so don't worry but please bare with me here. (I did write the political rant, read it... thought better of it and started again!)
I think we all need to take a step back, take time to breathe, time to think for ourselves for a change, time to get away from social media, or at least the heavily politicised divisiveness of it and the mainstream media/big techs horrifically manipulated narrative.
We have had a year of nothing but 'covid, covid, covid, orange man bad, covid, covid, orange man bad, covid, covid and finally heres two penguins with their flippers around each other to make you feel better'.
Well heres some news motherfuckers...it doesn't!
But in all this lunacy I've come to the realisation that we need a break, a reset, we need to take the time to find an alternative voice, and there is enough of them you can find relatively easily that are not censored and manipulated by big tech, rooted in identity politics or otherwise...
Go and find something thats true and fair, whichever side of the political spectrum you sit on. Then take that voice and think about it, away from the fucking screen, be it handheld or otherwise. Take that voice, those thoughts and do something else!
Cook a meal, take a walk, meditate, paint, read a book, a real actual book, listen to music, find new music, learn to play an instrument (unless its a violin or the drums which is ok if your single, not so much if your not!) reconnect with old friends, talk to your partner, I mean really talk, connect with yourself, find those things that are important that you've lost in this quagmire that life's become. Find joy in the little things!
Now don't get me wrong, Im just as locked into staring at a screen as the rest of you, I mean Im looking at a screen right now typing this which granted is somewhat hypocritical and Im hoping you will read this on a screen as well. Plus Im no better at having a reset than the rest of you but from this moment on I can promise you I will be trying... I mean REALLY trying!
In the immortal words of the 70s kids show Why dont you... 'Why dont you switch off the television set and go do something less boring instead!'
Now that my semi political rant is over we can start again!
So... What else have we learnt... well I guess we've learnt just how resilient people can truly be, so its not all bad news, we learnt how people can come together in a crisis, how an overpaid footballer can embarrass the government into a U-turn on free school meals while also using his own money for good, how a 100 year old Army Captain can walk 100 laps of his garden and raise over £15 million for charity (Cap Tom your not only a hero but a living fucking legend) your probably the only person Ive ever said deserves a knighthood!
Personally I have learnt that even though I loathe the manipulated click bait advertising, censorship and identity politics based trolling that social media has become, its still a fantastic tool for being able to make genuine friends without leaving the comfort and safety of your own home (forget social distancing, I'm somewhat agoraphobic these days anyway) Ive made some great friends in the last year this way and had some truly enlightening conversations and discovered some true and fair voices of my own.
Ive also learnt that the support of other small businesses through your own is vitally important to survive, especially now and I want to shout out now to my good buddy David and the Devil for inspiring me to play more, Dan at Underfluked, Andy at Funny Little Boxes, Mark and Felix at Bad Penny Fx, Marcus of MarcusDluxe pedal boards fame and Chris at Practical Patch for their support in promoting me in the last months and I hope Ive done a decent bit to reciprocate that support. Plus lets not forget all the other people I talk to via social media that I don't get to see due to the draconian lockdown that were in! At this point I have to also state publicly that I promise my better half that I will do much more to support your business through my own in future than I have in the past!
Ok Blind Boy... enough with the gushing what else is happening? I hear you ask... well, we will be having much more blog content in writing and on video. We have some great guest writers who will be coming in to give their thoughts and opinions on stuff and tings, Ive got a deal with the Midnight Unicorn for a regular video post... and for those of you who don't know the Midnight Unicorn you soon will! Theres going to be regular video posts from yours truly I promise and finally the bits that are always the most popular.... Whats on the bench and whats been finished!!
Well the Lightning Caster is complete and up for sale on Reverb or if you contact me directly you will get 10% off the Reverb price. This is a stunner of a guitar, based on a hybrid of a Telecaster and a Danocaster offset double cut.
Completely handmade start to finish, Lichtenberg effect Oak body that came from a 200 year old barn restoration in Suffolk, figured Bubinga neck with a flame maple fretboard. Hand relic'd hardware with Fender 'road-worn' tuners and two wonderful handmade hand wound Pickups from Dan at Underfluked. The bridge is classic tele twang and the neck is somewhat hotter than a trad Tele bridge pickup and gives a wonderful sound from warm to all out growl! As always this comes shipped in a Tweed style hard case.
The Thickline is still on the bench, kind of a personal project, but will still be up for sale.
I wanted to try out a hollow bodied telecaster. The body is somewhat thicker (although were not talking Gretch Falcon thick here!) than a conventional Thinline, very very heavy Relic, Black over TV Yellow over natural. Black Walnut top over a Baseball Bat Ash body. Fully chambered with a central slab, although the slab doesn't go all the way to the bottom, it leaves around 110mm clear for the horseshoe shape chamber. The awesome guys at Bareknuckle pickups provided the humbucker and the single coil, the humbucker will be coil split on a push/pull pot with Tele Deluxe style controls and the neck is going to be my usual hand shaped shallow C shaped design in Flame Maple with a figured Rosewood fretboard... Really looking forward to finishing this one! Still aways to go but we'er getting there!
Well the website (and in turn this blog) is to be fully revamped, redesigned and updated with a whole new look and those that follow me on Instagram will know that I have a brand new logo (seen at the top of this page) and there will be Merchandise and a direct order page coming, featuring Trucker hats, T-shirts, Hoodies and hopefully... if I can find a supplier...
Old School Tin Mugs!
Well... for this week or two thats it... not much more I can say except, take some time away from the narrative, recharge, find your own voice, pick up the telephone and reconnect with old friends who mean something or FaceTime where you can. Look after your olds, dont get into the family politics. Play a fucking guitar, read a god damn book, yes I still mean a real physical, actual, old school book with words and pages and go outside and hug a tree... After all... trees cant give you covid.... 'Allegedly'.... and lastly... dont forget to breathe!
Blind John Jan 2021